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Writing Masterclass: The Breakfast Sessions
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 8:45 AM (NZST)
The Writing Masterclass: A seven-month course for committed writers.
Are you a proficient writer who'd like to see how good you can really be? The Writing Masterclass is designed to hone your skills to a fine edge.
Students (tertiary or late secondary): You'll write essays more quickly, get to the point faster, and say what you want to say more clearly. Course dates are scheduled to align with secondary school semesters.
Business people: You'll make your points more clearly and persuasively, and get the results you intend more often.
What you'll receive:
One 45 minute, webinar-based classroom every week.
After each session, we'll email you a summary of the key points of that session. That will leave you free to give your full attention to the training, without worrying about taking notes.
- Access to a recording of each session so you can go over it again at your own pace, re-visiting any points that weren't crystal clear first time around.
- Online training modules that you can tackle in your own time.
- Access to one-on-one coaching and feedback on your own writing.
- Complimentary access to other Department of Writing training sessions outside this course. For example, sessions on writing effective emails, succinct PowerPoint presentations, or on specific elements of writing not addressed in this course.
SYLLABUS (may be subject to change)
Getting started: The productivity sessions
1. Organise your material in half the time
2. Double your writing speed (with no loss of quality)
3. The single most powerful editing technique of all
4. Ploughing through it: The Pomodoro and other techniques
5. Staying calm in the face of deadlines
6. Tips for effective proofreading
Now you're talking: The clarity sessions
7. Sentence hot spots
8. Muddying vs illuminating adjectives
9. Zombie nouns
10. Handling jargon / Plain English
11. When the passive voice is your friend
Finessing: The elegance sessions
12. Beautiful, beautiful: Repetition for effect
13. Seven rules for emails that work
14. Being specific vs being precise
15. The power and pitfalls of analogies
16. Life-destroying phrases
17. Generally speaking: Problems with adverbs
Grammar, et al: The final sessions
18. The parenthetical comma, and other fine points of punctuation
19. The dangling modifier
20. Handling collective nouns
21. “That” vs “which” and other tricky questions
22. The fused participle
What technology do I need to take part in the Writing MasterClass?
A computer that has a reliable internet connection. If it has a mic and speakers, that's all you need. If it doesn't, you'll also need a phone so you can call into the local number to hear the audio component of each session and to join in the conversation when you choose to.
I'm not very "techie".
If you're comfortable using a phone, a web browser and email, you have all the techie skills you need!
How do I ask questions or “put my hand up” if you can't see me?
We have ways of allowing you to do both, and we'll show you at the start of each session.
Isn't online training kind of impersonal?
It's certainly not intimate in the way a physical environment can be. However, that has advantages. Many people who take part in virtual classrooms feel freer to ask questions, suggest answers, and even challenge the presenter when they disagree, thanks to the “cloak of anonymity” that they enjoy. It also means you don't have to dress up to come to class!
What happens if I have to miss a session?
Every session is recorded and made available as podcast. It's the same as being in the classroom in every respect, except that you obviously won't be able to interact with the presenter or other participants.
How does the online discussion measure up to an in-class discussion?
It takes a little more than a class discussion because it's so much easier to check out without anyone noticing. Self discipline helps, as does "generating" your participation. That said, we make the sessions involving and interesting, so you won't have to work that hard to stay engaged.
Ken is the go-to guy for top class writing that has to be delivered without fuss. He tackles the most difficult subjects with ease and delivers content that's not only spot on, but entertaining and readable. He knows writing.
Jennifer Duval-Smith, Bullet PR
Department of Writing
We are a business writing and training company. Our clients include technology, advertising, PR, web service, accounting and health services companies, as well as government organisations. If you're looking for top-flight business writers or are keen to develop your own writing skills, talk to us.